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Universal Office apps for Windows 10 phones coming this month

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Lumia 640 XL Office

Microsoft has pledged to release another key piece of the Windows 10 puzzle by the end of the month, with ‘Universal’ Office apps arriving for smartphone preview members.

The touch-centric Office Universal apps, which are designed for use on-the-go, specialising in viewing, quick edits, notes and mark-ups, Microsoft said.

The firm says the tablet versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel “are fast, fluid, and streamlined for an immersive, hands-on experience. They’re fantastic for reading and perfect for touch- and pen-based content creation,” the company wrote.

The phone versions have been designed to adapt to “the smaller form factor,” the Office Team wrote on its official blog.

On a phone, the Universal apps adapt to the smaller form factor. Commands and controls are moved to the bottom of the screen so you can triage your work and make edits one-handed with your thumb. (That may sound like a small thing—but wait until you try it. It makes all the difference!)”

The Office Universal apps will remain segregated from the Office Desktop apps, which are still designed for traditional keyboard and mouse users.

Read more: Windows 10 Phone Features: All you need to know

Microsoft added: “With the preview release of the new Universal apps for Windows 10 for phones, we’ll have an exciting line-up of Windows 10 apps across form factors. The Universal apps will deliver tailored tablet and phone experiences for on-the-go productivity, and the Desktop apps will offer our broadest, deepest feature set for professional content creation.”

Last week the firm announced it was launching the Windows 10 preview for phones on a host more devices. There are now 35 Lumia devices compatible with the beta versions.

Microsoft has promised it’ll be opening up the software to more handsets, including the non-Lumia devices in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has today launched a new version of Windows 10 for phones (via Venture Beat) which includes the brand new Maps app with voice-guided navigation borrowed from Nokia's HERE maps.

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